European new car sales fell 0.6% year on year (7,825 units) in November 2007 to 1,240,548 units though sales are up a fractional 0.7% (102,214 units) to 14,581,668 units year to date.

Analysts Jato Dynamics said Volkswagen was again Europe's top-selling car brand in November, ahead of GM's Opel/Vauxhall (up 0.4% YtD), Ford (1.2%), Renault (4.6%) and Peugeot. The order also mirrors that of the YTD top five brand performers.

Individual brand performances worthy of note included BMW which increased 10.0% in November and 4.4% YTD, and Mini which increased sales by 53.8% in November and 26.9% YTD following the introduction of the stretched Clubman versions.

Dacia sales increased by a staggering 137% in November and 77.7% YTD, and Nissan registrations increased 18.9% in November, due to a strong performance by the Qashqai crossover. Smart registrations increased 34.5% in November as the introduction of the new Fortwo model took effect whilst Mitsubishi also posted a significant 28.6% increase.

Volkswagen's Golf was Europe's top-selling new car in November with 38,211 units sold (up 3.9%), ahead of the Peugeot 207 (8.1%), Ford Focus, Opel/Vauxhall Corsa (13.4% but a new model), Opel/Vauxhall Astra, Renault Clio (up 0.3%), Volkswagen Passat, Ford Fiesta, Fiat Punto and Volkswagen Polo.

YTD the top sellers were the Peugeot 207, VW Golf, Ford Focus, Opel/Vauxhall Astra, Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, Renault Clio, Fiat Punto, Ford Fiesta, VW Passat and BMW 3-series (up 3.9%).

The German market has now consolidated after a turbulent few months following tax changes in January and, while the November figures were down 12.9% year on year, it has now settled back to normal levels of trading. Year-to-date, Germany was down 8.2% and Austria, Hungary and Spain have also recorded reduced markets compared to 2006 for both November and YTD.

Reflecting worldwide emerging market growth, Lithuania has grown significantly while the high growth seen earlier in the year in neighbouring Latvia and Estonia means that those markets are still maintaining large YTD increases. Poland continued its recovery, with YTD volumes up 22.5% on the previous year. Cyprus (sometimes a source of right-hand-drive used cars for the UK) is also growing fast, up 29.5% YTD.

Many other European markets have also recorded increased car sales during 2007, leaving the overall European market up by 0.7% YTD, Jato reported.